The store of our home, Cranberry Acre.
When we bought this house we were told it was built in 1901, well that was only part of the story. We are actually only the 3rd family to have owned this house. In 1901 this house was actually rebuilt here. The Manning family has told us that the front of our home, which is 2 stories was actually moved from over the mountain on Piper’s Gap, by Oxen and Mules. We do not know how old the front of our home really is, but we do know it was placed here on this property in 1901. The Manning family owned a lot of acreage here on Cranberry Road, but over time, the land started to be sold off. We actually had the pleasure to talk to the family members about their memories in this old home, which to me, just adds to our home. We actually now get to add our stories to this home. The progression of this home is the same as many in this area. The original part of the home was built, then over the years add-ons happened. When it was decided to add an inside bathroom, then a bathroom was built. When formal dining became a thing, a new kitchen was built and the old kitchen was then turned into the dinning. With doing a lot of the renovations in this house we have tried to stay true to the original home. This house holds secret treasures and we love the adventure. This page is to tell you the store of our renovations. I hope you enjoy. To see more pictures of the renovations, please click the links to the phot album.
Old Sewing Room
Wow is all I can say about the old sewing room. This winter I was able to move almost all of my sewing room up to the new Studio. I still have a bit of fabric needing to get out of the old sewing room, but it can wait until I can get some shelves up in the Studio. We will be using the old sewing room as a family room. There is so much to do in this room. It really has been neglected since I had turned it into a sewing room. For right now we have been hatching baby chicks and rearing them in the new family room, until the chicken coop is ready. This poor room will have to wait for its renovation until we get the coop ready. We are closer and are enjoying the new space. We will be working on this throughout the year so we will be updating you as we move along.
The Crawl Space
We bought this house knowing that we would eventually have to do something with the support of this 100 year old home. Scared me to think, that there was really nothing holding up our home. I never saw it for myself, but Wayne told me all about it. I’m not one for small tight places, so this really wasn’t a place I wanted to be. The last week of April we finally had someone work on our crawl space. We now have 3 steel beams and 12 jacks under our home! The greatest thing ever is, my floors do not bounce when you walk of them or pictures rattle on the walls when you walk. I did not get pictures yet of under the home, but do hope to send Wayne down there when he has time, but I do have pictures of our root cellar and what they are doing to it. They haven’t yet finished, due to weather and some other things, but what a difference. Gosh what a relief to say the least. Hopefully we have ensured that this house will stand for another 100 plus years.
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We knew when we first bought our home that the underbelly needed a lot of work. The front of our home used two large oak trees as supports, well after about a hundred years, things tend to rot. With everything going on now we decided that it was time to invest in our home and get the crawlspace worked on. There will be footers and steel beams put under the home, to help it last another hundred plus years. This work will be done on the end of April and I plan to try and take as many pictures as I can, but I hate the crawlspace, very much, so I may send Wayne down there to take them. We will keep you updated on the improvements as they happen. Another exciting thing happening here on the farm.
The old chimney on the side of the house was in very bad shape when we first bought the house. You could literally put your finger knucle deep, along the side of each brick. We did not want to lose this chimney, it was one of the charms of this house. This happened to be one of our largest renovations for the house. It was pricey but I’m happy we saved it. 75% of the bricks were on site made bricks. We will eventually line this chimney and put a woodstove in the room, but this is after I move out my sewing room and regain this room as a family room. To see more pictures, please click on the link to go to the photo album.
The Living room
What we use as our living room was really a dining room. We had always had a house with a kitchen table in our kitchen, so we decided to make this our living room. Now it also has gone through some small changes too. We have taken out the baseboard heat in our kitchen and the living room. We replaced our heat with a woodstove, but we have moved that woodstove now twice, which also means, my husband, Wayne, has moved a chimney twice. The last move we had to switch out an old porch window for a door opening. We closed up the old doorway and put in a wall for the woodstove. When we started this project we had no idea that we would find these wood walls under the sheet rock, with that beautiful green paint! I proceeded to clean the walls and we decided to leave the color. When we were doing this renovation, we found where Mrs. Manning had her phone. On the wall by our new doorway was a small hole in the wall and a list of birthdays and phone numbers scribbled on the wall. We decided to leave them on the wall. It’s a part of our homes history and we want to keep that alive here. Wayne finished up the woodstove with slate on the walls and floor. We still have a lot to do in this room. We want to uncover the rest of this beautiful green wall and uncover the wood ceiling too. One very large demo will be the wall between the kitchen and the living room. I have struggled with doing this but I am way to hot in the Summer and way too cold in the Winter in my kitchen, we need air circulation. We will eventually make this a large kitchen dining room and my sewing room will then become our family room. To see more pictures of the Living room, click on the link below.
The front hallway
We have done a lot with this hallway. I had this ugly carpet on the floors and stairs, this really had to go. What was a very pleasant surprise, was the wood floors and the stairs were just gorgeous. I wanted to do something different on my walls, not just paint them, but make them a piece of art. I took pieces of wood tiles and hand painted some of them to make the wall on the stairs. Made for a really great look which I duplicated on the wall below. We wanted a fan in the hallway to help distribute heat and cold air. We took down the ceiling tiles to find a tongue and groove wood ceiling. A few years down the road we decided to see if there were wood walls under the sheet rock and there was. All we have done is cleaned the walls and left the original paint color. In taking down the wall we uncovered one of the original doorway openings to the old log cabin. This helped explain a weird bump on the other side of the hallway. We figured it was the old doorways but had never confirmed it until now. As I said before, I love the little adventure of finding the original home. If you would like to see more pictures, just click the link to the photo album.
Back in the day, we are guessing, either people were a lot smaller or just didn’t care to bend over that far. When we first walked our home the bathroom was a large concern, due to the sink being below waist level. This was great for our kids but very painful for us as adults, so this was the next room to work on so we could move in sooner. The bathroom sink left and a new vanity was put in. Again we just needed this to be comfortable because we had other plans for the bathroom and we still do. This is another room that we are still working on after all these years being here, but that is okay. With a toilet that needed replacing and then finding out that under our floor there was a floor and a half, (no wonder it was on a tilt). We have done what we needed to make it work. I finally decided it just needed paint, until we get to the next phase for this bathroom, which I believe will be a closet and a new addition that will be a Master bath. To see more pictures, please click on the link to the photo album.
The Kitchen, 2008 to present
The kitchen was one of our first things to do in our house when we bought it. We had to connect to sewer and water when we first bought our home. The house had never had it before and when we got connected to water, well let’s just say the old pipes were not happy. I walked into the house hearing a hissing noise coming from the kitchen and found water spewing out from under the kitchen cabinets. We had never really looked inside the cabinets really, but with this water leak I opened the cabinets to find that the owners had put pink insulation on the wall. In doing this there was now fiberglass in all the wood, our cabinets were not useful and had to be pulled out. It was something we did not expect to be doing so early but we did get lucky on getting some cabinets very cheap, so we installed these. We also installed a dishwasher, but really didn’t update much, because we still didn’t know what we wanted to really do with the kitchen. Recently I decided to paint the kitchen to where it is now. We are still working on the kitchen renovation, so really it isn’t done, but better than were it had started.
For more pictures of the renovation of the kitchen, please click the link to go to the photo album.
It all started in the Fall of 2008
When I first saw this house, (on Cranberry Road) it was for sale, but we were not ready to get into another house and we really didn’t know if we were staying Virginia. After my father had passed, we decided to make Virginia our home, but were really still not ready to buy a home. We didn’t know if we needed to stay here in Galax, VA or did we need to go closer to Wayne’s work. During this time this house sold. I will say my heart sank a little to see it sold. I had liked it ever since we drove by it, when we moved from Texas. We finally had decided to make the surrounding area of Galax our home, we started to look for homes. The Cranberry Road house went back up for sale, but was more than what we wanted to spend on it, so we kept looking. I finally got up the nerve to just look at the house on Cranberry Road. I knew if I saw it that I would fall in love, but knowing it was more than what we wanted to offer for it, would make it hard to walk away. This house from the very moment I opened the door to look at it, felt like home, I was in love. I had always wanted an old home and this one was old, we just didn’t know how old until we finally bought it. I told Wayne all about the house, but he reminded me that what they wanted was still too much, so we kept looking. We looked at a few homes and were not happy, this is when I talked Wayne into just looking at the house on Cranberry road house. We all walked in as a family and I still felt the same about this old house, it was home. Wayne also agreed that it was a good house, but still the price loomed over the house, it was too much. We looked on for the perfect house, but were not having any luck. We started to compare everything with the Cranberry House. We then came across a log cabin that sat on acreage and we were in love, but on the day that we went back to inspect a few things, someone else drove up to see the home. I’m a true believer things happen for a reason, and on that day, this person put an offer on the log cabin. Wayne and I had both agreed that we would not get in any bidding war, so we decided the next day we would put in an offer for the Cranberry house. We put in an offer for the house, that we thought we would be countered with. We were told we would probably be countered, but were not and we now owned the Cranberry house. After all these years of dreaming and loving this house, it was ours. Do you believe in Fate? To see more pictures of the house before we started to work on it, click the link for the photo album.